Courts are constantly setting new precedents in light of liability lawsuits involving storefronts, malls, and night time hotspots but the short answer to the question above is yes. In New York nightclub accidents may be the responsibility of the owner-they may even be liable for injuries caused by fights-but only in certain cases.
New York Nightclub Injuries Caused by Negligence
Whether the injury is caused by a cracked sidewalk, a deck collapse, uneven stairs, or drunken patrons, the injured party has to prove that the owner knew or should have known about the problem and did too little or nothing to solve it.
For example, if a club owner fails to repair a faulty patio railing and patrons fall to the ground below, the injured parties could win a liability lawsuit against the club owner. However, if the area had been marked off (with a physical barrier or even just signage) and the individual knowingly or unknowingly crosses that barrier, they're out of luck because the owner had actively tried to prevent such injuries.
However, even a "general awareness" of a potentially hazardous situation may be enough to make a property owner liable for nightclub injuries in New York. During a 2011 court case (in which a woman sued Kohl's Department Store after tripping on a purse) the appellate court held that because employees knew the area in question (around a price checker) had been a dumping ground for unwanted merchandise in the past, the store had a responsibility to police the area more thoroughly in order to prevent such injuries.
New York Nightclub Injuries Caused by Altercations
Altercations are too common in New York nightclubs. If an individual is injured during one of these altercations (whether they participated in the brawl or not), they could potentially sue the negligent establishment and win.
Nightclub and bar owners have a responsibility to "adequately secure" the premises in order to ensure their patrons' safety. Measures like screening for guns at the door and hiring an adequate number of bouncers are essential. However, if a nightclub fails (in the eyes of the law and a jury) to adequately secure the premises, they could potentially be held responsible for any injuries suffered.
The best option for those who have suffered nightclub injuries is to contact an expert personal injury attorney immediately. Call the Law Office of Nussin S. Fogel for a free consultation to learn your rights at (800) 734-9338 or (212) 385-1122.